"" Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8339780_put-emoticons-blogger.html WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus: December 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

"Return to Dune Towers" writing challenge - submission by Enrique Castro (@EnriqueCasv)

Another submission has been received for my (as yet unattached) Return to Dune Towers writing challenge on Twitter, using the artwork here as inspiration.
...
Enrique (@EnriqueCasv), a NaNoWriMo 2014 winner, tells me it's his first completely English, published story. Had he not told me, I'd never have guessed. Enjoy his story for Return to Dune Towers ... :D
...


From the desert, Dune Towers seemed almost peaceful. A reef of steel and plastic emerging from the sands, lights green, white and yellow like bio-luminescent fish. Of course, she had never seen a reef or an ocean with her own eyes. Only pictures and holos. When she was little, she used to devour them, to endlessly pester her father to buy her more. The sea seemed to her an unreal thing, impossible and fantastic. Enough water to fill a valley, a world. Fish as big as an ornithopter. To her it was fairyland, something borne out of a dream. An escape from real life.

Yes, life was hard here, in this barren rock where most fresh water had to be imported from off-world, mined and refined from the asteroid belt and dwarf, uninhabitable planets. Danakil shouldn’t be inhabited either, but its sands and rocks hoarded untold riches: gold and diamonds, uranium, boron, lead, iron, copper, semi precious stones and rock salt. Interstellar Combines set up mining colonies like Dune Towers to house workers and send minerals to the orbiting ships that would deliver them to feed the industry of who knows how many worlds.

As Amaani walked over the hot sands, the domes and spires of the mining outpost began to fill the horizon. Yes, it was beautiful, from the outside. The inside, however, was another matter altogether. A hive of scum and villainy, as someone put it once. The Combine concerned itself only with work schedules and production quotas, not with daily life, and so, most of the population was at the mercy of warlords and thugs, which monopolized the scarce supply of fresh water and the black market: prostitution, drugs, weapons and more. You could get anything in Dune Towers, yes, even holos of oceans and fish. But the price, sometimes, was too high.

As high as shattering her entire life. As high as forcing her to do anything to get some money when her father was crippled. As high as hooking her up with drugs when she could not cope any more. There were some happy children in Dune Towers, those young enough to not know what happened around them, but there were no happy adults. Amaani was flung into this world too early, too hard. Her last memory of the mining outpost was the blank face of her dead father, the heavy, sweaty paw of the crime lord that styled himself her “owner”, and the call of the desert. She, that had always loved the unseen sea and abhorred the dusty plains of death that laid beyond the walls, now was being beckoned by the singing of the dunes and the whispers of the wind. At dawn, she ran away.

Now she was returning to the town where untold lives had been crushed and grinded by poverty and toil and tyranny. Where untold souls had been turned from light and hope to despair and darkness. She was very close now. The ornithopters orbited around the city, ferrying ores and personnel between Dune Towers and other outposts. One of them hovered over here, the wind of its wings pulling at her wild hair and skirt. Security. A loudspeaker shouted something, but she ignored it.

Three years in the desert. Three years among the sands and the snakes, listening to the voice of the great empty spaces, staring into the pure, unfiltered light of the sun. Three years purifying herself of sin, impurity and madness, cleansing her soul of despair. Now she was ready. Now, as the cameras and guns over the blast doors of the colony trained on her, as the shouting from the ornithopter increased, she was returning home. She was not alone. The spirit of the desert was with her, the power of the word heard in the deepest solitude.

Amaani advanced towards the gates, alone and fragile against the bulk of the enclosed city, almost naked in front of the voracious muzzles trained on her body. She smiled. I am here to save you. To cleanse you.

The doors opened with a loud rumble, letting in wind and sand. The desert. Purification.

Amaani returned to Dune Towers.
~
Enrique's first published story in English ... Amazing!

Want to take the challenge, too? Write a short for this artwork, and I'll post it with links to your website and/or network profiles. 

Visual writing prompt: http://willowraven.weebly.com/return-to-dune-towers.html Write a short for this & I'll post it w link to you :-D

Be sure to connect with Enrique Castro on Twitter or on his blog, Tabvlarium.






Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Murder in Belgrave Square ~ cover art and design for Tim Lewis (@TimLewisAuthor)

I'm such a kid, sometimes. I really do enjoy creating book covers for children, especially the reluctant reader ages between seven and eighteen. Luckily for me, the Intermediate Reader - New Adult genres are booming right now, so I'm getting a lot of fun cover projects. :D

I actually finished this cover months ago, but didn't have a blurb to post with it until now, so I held off showing it off.

Blurb:
January, 1892.
Night. Fog. London. A cemetery. The police discover an abandoned hearse with an old coffin, with new nails. Inside the coffin is the body of a young, stylishly-dressed woman. Her throat has been slashed. The chase is on as Scotland Yard’s best detective relentlessly pursues the evidence, even when it directs him toward Queen Victoria’s family. 
Scotland Yard Detective Edward Willoughby, who “solves the unsolvable”, pieces together a team of policemen who aid in making sense of the disjointed evidence. Follow them across London as they identify the victim and track down her killer. 
I'm already contracted for the sequel, so it looks like murder is on my future :D
Be sure to connect with Tim on Twitter, Facebook, and his Blog.





Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

'Dark Dining' ~ cover art & design for James R Lord, III (@KhoTheMinotaur)

For Dark Dining, James already had a good design concept; it just needed a few tweaks.

Blurb:

VAMPIRE ARE MADE.
VAMPYR ARE BORN.
 
Vampires. They used to walk among the humans of the world, feeding on them. They were feared of in tales and legends told throughout the centuries.

Then they died out.

All except Lincoln, a Vampyr, one of the upper echelon of the vampire society.

After waking from a twenty five year sleep, Lincoln begins looking for a woman that is pregnant. He needs such a woman to rebuild his race...

Even a down on her luck waitress at Reba's, an all night truck stop diner located just outside of Hillview, West Virginia, would do.

But Lincolns' quest will not be as easy as he thinks.

Between a boyfriend that does not even want to be a father, a slighted ex employee, an old cook that remembers Lincoln from years past, a misunderstood dishwasher, and a hopelessly in love short order cook, this diner serves up a dangerous secret and Lincoln's task ends up becoming a nightmare, even for him.


Interesting twist on an exciting and chilling species. :D 
 


Oh! And James' original cover ...

I especially like cover re-dos.

It's good to see an author
concerned for what's
best for the book.



Don't forget to connect with James on Twitter :D 






Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Aeon Map for the coming novel, 'Infinitas', by David N Sebastian (@DavidNSebastian) is ready for show.

David N. Sebastian, author of the soon-to-be-completed novel, Infinitas, commissioned me to create this map. I always have fun creating maps. They're a nice change of pace and make me think of treasure and adventure.

See if you can guess my favorite map icon. ;D


And although I didn't create the cover (commissioned prior to my meeting David), I thought I'd share it for him, and post the blurb: 

Cover Art: Angeline Janeiro

In a world where the evil dragon sorceress rules supreme, the warrior maiden and dragon slayer come together in an epic journey destined to fulfill the 100 year old Prophesy of Drakon, returning balance and goodness to the land.

Join sixteen year old cousins, Kali and Drake, and their best friends, Ferrah and Harold, in their search for the hidden Pool of Life where the great sword - 'Omar - lies waiting to fulfill it's duty. Tremble, scream out, and laugh along as they encounter all manner of crazy obstacles in their quest to return peace to their world by infiltrating the dragon sorceresses impregnable stronghold, Infinitas, and ending the battle begun by their ancestors 100 years ago.

Be sure to keep an eye on the Infinitas Wattpad page for updates.

Also:







Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Mage Chronicles ~ cover art & design for RJ Eliason (@racheleliason)

I love desert landscapes. Every one is so alike, yet each unique at the same time. There's just something romantic, and barren, and harsh about them. I relished another opportunity to translate the desert world in RJ Eliason's, The Mage Chronicles.

Blurb: 

The Gilded Empire: A magical empire so ancient it's name has been forgotten to the mist of time. Its citizens believe they are in their golden age, but already the rot is showing underneath the gold veneer.

The Mage Chronicles: A mage level healer, Mary is unprepared when the Council of Mages wants her to intervene in a border dispute in a distant part of the empire. What does she know of nobility or war? Not one to back down, she must confront the harsh realities of life outside the central core, a legion of unstoppable warriors and the ghosts of her own past.

What an interesting sounding world. Up for a visit?

Be sure to connect with RJ on social media or sites:


G+     Twitter     Facebook     Website







Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"Return to Dune Towers" writing challenge - submission by P.T. Krieg (@PTKrieg)

This next submission to my visual writing prompt challenge on Twitter actually came in two days after the last one. Since they were both inspired by my Return to Dune Towers piece, I wanted to give a few days (and a couple posts) of distance between the two submissions. It would be a shame if people glanced at the art and assumed the story was the one they had just read.

PT's short, first posted on his blog, is the longest one I've received (I think) for this piece. I personally find it awesome and can really see the potential for expansion. If it were a novel, I'd definitely want it for my library.

Visual writing prompt: http://willowraven.weebly.com/return-to-dune-towers.html Write a short for this & I'll post it w link to you :-D



***
On paper, this is just a courtesy check. The Towers have been written off as a low priority for a few years now; back when they first dug them out, the Guild of Mages was terribly excited about the prospect of a new find, and researchers were literally climbing over corpses to get a jab at the place. It was the most intact precursor facility uncovered in years, and there were high hopes that it might be a find on the same level as the Kรถnigsberg Vault. The whole place got turned upside-down, no stone unturned, and in the end, nothing of value was uncovered. At the same time, no one wants to take responsibility for declaring the place a constructive loss after all the resources that have been expended on it. At it’s peak the Towers had thirty mages and three times that in support staff, but now it’s just two young kids and zero times that in support staff, just there to scare off the locals, sweep the sand out of the hallways and mark time until it’s some other young kid’s turn. The various institutes and Guild branches pass the thing along like a hot potato, trying not to be the one responsible when it finally slips back into the sand for good. Another corpse buried in the dunes.


But that’s not what we see on the horizon. The building pokes out of the surface of the rolling dunes, like a submarine breaching the waves, a dark brown to match the sands. With the lights off, one could be forgiven for mistaking it for a particularly proud rock from a distance, but that’s not the case. The lights are on, glowing white and green and tracing the structure with bands of color that make it leap to the eye. If it were only the white, it could be dismissed as a mirage, but the green is a vivid shade that simply does not happen in nature. On the windward side, the sand has collected, piling up nearly to the tops of the towers, but on the leeward side the structure is exposed, multiple stories of interconnected steel, with the bedrock some unknown distance below.


Someone knew we were coming, as there is a welcoming party. A mass of humanity, clad in the same brown as the land and the tower, the loose, insulating garb of a desert people interrupted by the occasional piece of armor, a few tattered and faded banners, and the occasional rifle or rocket launcher. “There they are.” Chief Flexer says as he lines up his approach on one of the outer towers. “They call themselves Le Scorpions. It’s French. Means ‘The Scorpions’.”


“Thanks for the heads up, Chief.” I say, trying to keep from rolling my eyes. Towards the rear of the formation are the Scorpion Clan’s claim to fame. The scientists dubbed them Buthidae Androctonus Praegrandis, but most laypeople just call them fucking huge scorpions. I don’t dispute either name. Big as a bus, the Praegrandis makes up for it’s stupid, single-minded viciousness with a carapace thick enough to bounce a rifle bullet, pincers that can take out a jeep, and a neurotoxin payload that would be overkill on an elephant. No one outside of the Clan can train, tame or break the things, but their knights ride them around like oversized horses, dragging supplies from camp to camp and mowing down anything that opposes them.


All that is normal for the desert, but the woman at the head of the pack isn’t. She stands out from the rabble the way the tower stands out from the desert. Her skirt, thin bordering on translucent, does a better job of covering whatever device she’s hovering on to stay out of the sands than it does covering her form, and ends sharply at her waist, with only the minimum of cloth above to preserve what we Easterners would consider modesty. The Clan dresses to hide from the winds and sand, but she dresses as though daring it to challenge her, throwing a gauntlet straight into the face of mother nature itself. Her face is difficult to read, showing an almost regal apathy towards our arrival, half hidden by her loose, wild hair.


“Crazy desert witches are getting a little hotter each year.” Chief says, bringing the chopper down dead-center of the tower.


“Just don’t forget the crazy part. And don’t forget what we came here to do.” I say, grabbing my bagged-up rifle out from behind the passenger seat of the chopper before hopping out onto the improvised helipad.


***
-PTK

I like how PT actually describes the scene beyond the canvas provided. I now 'see' an desert-clad army behind her, too, lol.
Be sure to visit PT on Twitter or his Blog.

Want to take the challenge, too? Write a short for this artwork, and I'll post it with links to your website and/or network profiles. :-D  







Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.